Thursday, November 20, 2003

Am"Bush"ed

Our President went to Great Britain in hopes of bolstering a continued alliance and support from our neighbors from across the pond. There seems to not only be a great deal of Anti-Bush sentiment, but Anti-American sentiment as well. While I would agree that this is not as bad as what we have to deal with from the French or the Germans, but it is scathing nonetheless. I won't give you my opinion as to whether or not we should have deposed Saddam Hussein as leader of Iraq, but I will say that the United States is in a position where we absolutely cannot pull out. We have to keep going forward.

This past drill at my National Guard Unit, we were assisting one of our line units who has been activated for deployment. So, a second trip to Iraq seems like it could some day become a reality for me. I would really hate to go, but I would. One thing that I have to say is that I wish that the world would pull together and look at the good that can come out of this situation versus the events that led up to this action. We have to salvage something from this entire mess. I would hate to look back 20 years from now and say. Jesus! That was a God awful mess that amounted to nothing. Too many lives have been lost. Too much property has been damaged, and too many lives have been permanently changed. Yes, we will indeed look at all of the facts, but lets look at the best way to fix all of the chaos in Iraq. We owe it to the Iraqi people.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Mike Check

It seems that Michael Jackson has once again been accused of inappropriate contact with a child. I was really incensed when the investigation of the previous allegations against Michael halted after the parents in question received a settlement. In my opinion if you have reason to believe that an adult had some sort of sexual contact with your child, and you will accept "hush money", then you may as well don the red coat, white hat with blue feather, and drive a Cadillac with Zebra skin seat covers. To me, the first claimants were nothing but pimps. There is no amount of money on earth that could appease me. If I couldn't get my hands around Mike's throat I would want him in jail.

We, as black people, have the tendency to circle the wagons when "one of our own" is threatened. However, wrong is wrong, no matter what. I know that some people are wrongly accused of crimes, but a great deal of the time "where there is smoke, there is fire." If they find compelling evidence that Michael Jackson has had sexual contact with this 12 year old, or any other kids, I think they should lock him up and throw away the key. Just like with the Catholic Church, there will someday be a reckoning. If Michael has done wrong eventually it will come out.

On the subject of the Catholic Church and pedophile priests, I can actually offer a personal perspective on the matter. As a Catholic I was not only shocked, but quite embarassed about many of the events, namely, Cardinal Law, John Geoghan, and Father Shanley. As a matter of fact our Bishop of the Lexington Diocese stepped down amid allegations from the seventies, and our Priest stepped down because of accusations that he slept with a teenage girl. While it is easy to cast aspersions on those who investigate people or institutions we have come to identify with, we have to realize that these investigations do serve a legitimate purpose. While I do laugh and joke about Conspiracy Theorists, I am pretty sure that J. Edgar Hoover is dead, and perhaps nobody in the FBI is out to damage the reputations of Michael Jackson, or R. Kelly, or Al Sharpton for that matter. (A la the video tape that shows him listening to a guy talking about a drug deal.) We as black people need to not only not tolerate people who refer to us, deal with us, and make statements about us as if we were some monolithic being. Any racial group whose membership ranges from Clarence Thomas to Flavor Flav certainly has a wide array of opinions, attitudes, behaviors, and ideologies. Because of this, we shouldn't take it so personally as a collective when someone is getting crucified in the courts and in the media for bad moral judgment and/or illegal behavior. I don't want anyone to "lay off Mike". I want them to put more pressure on him because the truth needs to come out. Children have to be protected, and if that means that I have to see an Icon of my time, and my church go down in flames, then I am all for it.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

The Doves and the Hawks...

The Doves and the Hawks have squawked just a wee bit too much for me as of late. With troops getting killed by the day, I think that we are past the point where we argue about whether or not this is a just war. The fact of the matter is that no matter what the cause, we are in it, and we cannot just pack up and leave. I really think that the focus needs needs to be on how we are going to straighten this mess out. Oliver had a nice piece on his weblog about how many of the so-called hawks mustered support for the war from the safety of their keyboards. While I did find this to be amusing, I noted that some bloggers who claimed to have been in Iraq at some time took offense to that matter. In fact, there was one poster who commented on Oliver's blog named "Gimp". From the way Gimp described himself and told of his failed attempt to enlist, we can see that his moniker was aptly selected. Anyway, gimp called him a few names, and brought up a compelling point. I am paraphrasing this, but it was basically stating that just because a person does not serve, or cannot serve does not make them out-of-line for supporting the war effort.

At first I chuckled at some of the comments made, but then I thought about it. Just because I have a military background, and have been deployed in a combat zone does not make me any more entitled to comment on military action than anyone else. Admittedly I have trash talked people about commenting on combat actions when they have not elected to serve. But, being that the way that our Constitution is framed, it would seem that perhaps those are the exact kind of people that need to be making these decisions. I suppose that perhaps I need to put my own ego, and sense of self-righteousness in check when I discuss the situation in the Middle East with people. While I do not condemn Oliver for his anti-war stance, or muster behind the "hawks". I find myself now respecting and seeing the validity of both sides of this argument. However, I stlll have to say, "We are there now, there is no going back, let us endeavor to work together to quell the unrest, restore power to the Iraqi people, and bring our boys home soon.

One of our line units was just activated, and I have a feeling that they will be going overseas soon. This is hitting close to home. I am a brand new Lieutenant with all sorts of ideas, a little bit of experience, a whole lot of enthusiasm, and 4 reasons to pray to God that I am not called up...."Wife, Son, Son, and Daughter." I pray to God that the day will come when I no longer here about our troops being killed. I pray to God that peace will come to the Iraqi people. I pray to God soon more families will not have to be seperated, and I pray for the families that will never be reunited.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Not nice.....but she spoke....

This morning my daughter was extremely fussy and whiney while my wife was doing her hair. She squealed, and strained, and whined and cried out trying to free herself from my wife's grasp. She has become quite willful as of late, and doesn't like to be held for very long. She really hasn't tried to articulate any thoughts to us verbally, more often than not, she will attempt to repeat things that we say...."Say, Mommy?...Say, Daddy?.....Say, Cookie?" You know how it goes. The teacher's at my daughter's daycare have a policy of not saying, "NO!" When they have to calm a child down, they simply say, "Not nice". They do this by shaking their index finger in a disapproving way and shaking their heads. Obviously my daughter has been called down quite a bit, or else has witnessed another child being disciplined. (I choose to believe the latter, because my daughter is obviously the best child in the world.) Well, anyway, back to what I was saying. She was getting her hair combed, and the boys were also in our room trying to watch ESPN. Suddenly Robbie looked at Alex angril and said, "QUIET!!" The baby was startled and stopped making noise for a few seconds, she jumped, and had a wide-eyed look on her face. After that she started in a low sorrowful wail and began to cry. Renee looked at Robbie and said, "You shouldn't do that Robbie." Then, out of the blue, Alex stopped her tears for a moment and pointed at him and began shaking her little index finger. She also gurgled out, "Nah Nigh!" There was complete silence in the room, and we all burst out laughing. So she finallyarticulated something....she spoke, but it wasn't nice!